So you’ve picked out your SAT study program and you have your computer, pencils, and paper ready to go. But where do you begin studying for the SAT? You begin with a study schedule! Whether you’re studying for 1 month or 4, a study schedule will keep you on track for test day.
In order to study effectively for the SAT, you need an SAT study schedule. A schedule ensures you’ll study for every section of the test with time left over for practice tests and reviewing difficult concepts. It helps you stay on track with your goals and, if well-implemented, should lead to an increase in your SAT score!
How Long Should You Study for the SAT?
In our opinion, three months is the right amount of time to study for your first SAT test. Three months gives you enough time to cover all the necessary material without totally frying your brain.
Planning to study for about three months also accounts for the fact that no one sticks to their schedule despite their best efforts. You are constantly competing with school work and you need to build in some time to adjust here and there. If you have three months to study, that builds in a little wiggle room to skip a few days here and there.
Planning to study for about three months also accounts for the fact that no one sticks to their schedule despite their best efforts. If you have three months to study, that builds in a little wiggle room to skip a few days here and there.
But we know you may not have three months to study, or you may have more than three months! We’ve created study schedules based on how much time you have to prepare: one month, two months, three months, or four months.
Download the Free SAT Study Schedules!
The schedules below are based on our free SAT course. Between the free course, test tips on this blog, and the study schedule below, you’ll have everything you need to study for the ACT and get a great score.
What if I Want to Take the SAT Twice?
There’s no need to think of the SAT as a one-shot deal. Many students take the SAT at least twice and according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, average students’ scores improved about 60 points the second time they took the test! We actually recommend that students take the ACT at least twice for this reason.
It’s best practice to take your second SAT on the next available test date so you stay fresh. SAT tests are usually about eight weeks apart, which is plenty of time to hone in on and fix mistakes you made on your first test.
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Creating a Second SAT Study Schedule
Studying for your second ACT test is your chance to focus on the areas of the test that really trip you up.
You’ll usually get your scores from the first test back after two to eight weeks. Take a break the week after the test (you’ve earned it!) and then use the week before you get your score report back to think about how the first SAT test went. What went right, and what went wrong? What will you do differently when you take the test again?
Once you get your score report, you can begin some focused studying for your second SAT test. Use the “Subscores” section of the report to figure out the kinds of questions you missed. Then, take the next few weeks before your test to study those specific content areas you struggled in on your first test.
Going the Extra Test Prep Mile? Order the Question-and-Answer Service!
If you’re really curious about what you missed on your test, for a fee you can order a Question-and-Answer service from the SAT, which includes a copy of the SAT questions and a report showing your answers, the correct answers, and information about the type and difficulty of the test questions. This information can be helpful because it shows you exactly what questions you missed!
However, the College Board says it could take quite a few weeks to get the test information after you submit your request, so if you decide to order your test information it should not be your main study strategy for your next test. You may not get the information back in time. Additionally, this service is only available for the October, March, and May test dates.
For more information, visit the College Board’s Score Verification information page.
Download the Study Schedules
Before you go, don’t forget to download the free SAT Study schedules!